Speaker Bios

Social Enterprise Symposium: A New Way of Doing Business

5 – 9 p.m. Thursday, March 26
Frank Auditorium, 1524 Van Munching Hall

Victor Barnes

Victor Barnes

Mr. Barnes is the Director of the HIV/AIDS & Health Initiative at the Corporate Council on Africa. The Corporate Council on Africa is a non-profit membership organization focused on the development of U.S. trade and investment in Africa. The HIV/AIDS & Health Initiative brokers public-private partnerships with our corporate members, donors, foundations, and technical assistance providers to address HIV/AIDS and healthcare requirements throughout Africa.  Before joining CCA in 2004, Mr. Barnes served as the Deputy Director of The Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among his responsibilities at the CDC was the Business and Labor Responds to AIDS Partnership, a public-private partnership initiated in 1992 to engage the U.S. private sector in HIV/AIDS prevention in the U.S.  Mr. Barnes began his career in federal government in 1981 at the U.S. Department of State as a development officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was the first program officer with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at USAID and managed the HIV/AIDS portfolio for 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He remained with that program for seven years, eventually becoming the Acting Chief of the Division before going to the CDC.  Mr. Barnes holds degrees from Washington and Lee University, The University of California at Los Angeles and Stanford University. He also served with the Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Romi Bhatia

Romi Bhatia

Romi Bhatia is a Vice President of International Operations for Microfinance International Corporation. He has worked in various capacities in the microfinance field for the past nine years as a researcher, consultant and portfolio manager both in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Bhatia did his Fulbright research in India on role of technology in the enhancement of microfinance operations with SKS Microfinance.  He received his Masters of Arts Degree in International Finance and Business from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2004.

Amy Coen

Amy Coen

Amy Coen is the President and CEO of Population Action International (PAI) and has earned a reputation as an international leader in the area of reproductive health and population issues. Under her ten year presidency, Population Action International has expanded its reputation as one of the world's leading independent research and advocacy organizations, coordinating strategies to ensure women and reproductive health are integral components of global development solutions, and articulating the linkages between population, reproductive health, the environment, and development. Prior to joining PAI, Ms. Coen served for 13 years as President and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, which provides family planning and related medical services to more than 55,000 women and men each year.

Camellia Falcon

Camellia Falcon

Ms. Camellia Falcon is an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton. As part of Booz Allen’s Diplomacy and International Development practice, Camellia has focused on international and nonprofit health projects, including projects that help in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. She has worked with several organizations and initiatives to craft their growth and expansion strategies on the national and international level, monitor progress against goals, and interact with key stakeholders. Her work in the areas of performance management was presented at the 2007 and 2008 HIV Implementer’s conferences.

Prior to Booz Allen, Camellia served as a financial advisor to municipal clients, focusing on local government, healthcare and transportation. Camellia also worked as a consultant to the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership where she worked to monitor and maintain a comprehensive performance metrics program.

Camellia has a BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University, and a MPA from the University of Texas, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

Jenna Fournel 

Jenna Fournel

Jenna Fournel is the Director of Communications and Outreach for the Center for Inspired Teaching. She has dedicated her professional career to schools both as a teacher, and in the non-profit realm. Jenna began her foray into public education as a high school English teacher in rural North Carolina and went on to support school reform in Chicago through work with parent-led Local School Councils. She holds a BA in English from Bryn Mawr College and an MS from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. In addition to providing communications support for Center for Inspired Teaching, Jenna is working to create strategies for bringing Inspired Teaching to more students and schools. 

Rebecca Freyvogel

Rebecca Freyvogel

Rebecca Freyvogel is the senior manager of corporate relations at Business Civic Leadership Center. She helps companies identify how BCLC can support their corporate citizenship initiatives and introduces companies to programs and partnership opportunities. As part of her BCLC role, Rebecca is serving on the 2009 Nonprofit Conference on Fundraising Development Committee, which seeks to build the capacity of nonprofits and is hosted byBooz Allen Hamilton, a BCLC partner company.Rebecca has worked as a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where she served under the vice president of external relations, and at the Becket Fund, a non-profit law firm.

Sona Gandhi

Sona Gandhi serves as Executive Initiatives Manager within the Executive Office of FINCA International, a microfinance network of twenty-one Affiliates dedicated to providing financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs. In this capacity, Sona coordinates development of FINCA's network-wide policy and focuses on initiatives of high priority to FINCA's strategic plan such as corporate governance, enterprise risk management, financial services standards, and Affiliate strategy/planning. Prior to FINCA, Sona spent 3 years at UBS's investment banking division in New York, where she served public sector clients in the Structured Finance group. Sona developed her interest in microfinance while working at the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in Gujarat, India. Sona serves as a guest lecturer on microfinance at Georgetown University, George Washington University and the Wharton School. She holds a Master's in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on Finance and Public Policy. In addition to her graduate work, she received her Bachelor's of Science in Finance from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Tracy Gerstle

Lisa Hall

Lisa Hall

Lisa Hall is the Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Office of the Calvert Foundation, overseeing it’s growing loan portfolio. Lisa previously served as Chief Credit Officer for the American Communities Fund in the Housing and Community Development Division of Fannie Mae. Prior to that, Lisa worked in the Clinton Administration covering community development issues as a Senior Policy Advisor at the National Economic Council (NEC). As part of her work at the NEC, she chaired the inter-agency working group for Clinton’s New Markets Initiative, which resulted in legislation and a tax credit program to encourage private investment in low-income areas. Lisa has also held positions in real estate and community development finance with the Enterprise Foundation, JP Morgan Chase and Travelers Insurance. She holds a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard University.

Eric Howell

Eric Howell

As chief financial officer, Mr. Howell is responsible for corporate financial planning and management. He joined Chemonics in 2005 as a director in the Europe and Eurasia region, overseeing projects in Kosovo, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Prior to working for Chemonics, Mr. Howell served as chief of party for a land privatization project in Ukraine and a privatization project in Belarus, and worked as an investment banker for Salomon Smith Barney in New York and Hong Kong.

Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain

Ajit Jain works as an Associate Structurer at Global Social Investment Funds Group at Deutsche Bank. His role involves structuring of various microfinance transactions and financial modeling of the funds managed by the group. He has been closely involved in various projects on financial analysis, portfolio analysis and portfolio risk measurement for the group. He currently manages a client portfolio in Eastern Europe and South Asia and his role encompasses sales and management of various microfinance products in the regions in his portfolio.  Prior to joining the Microfinance team, he worked in the Securitized Products Group of the same bank and has extensive experience in structuring various securtization and structured finance transactions. He started his career at Deutsche Bank in India after completing his MBA in Finance from IIT Delhi, with a GPA of 9.2 on a scale of 10. Interestingly, he also has a degree in Architecture and practiced Architecture for a year before deciding to move into the world of Finance. His hobbies include oil painting, swimming and tennis.

Heather Lair

Heather Lair

Heather Lair joined the University of Maryland Office of Sustainability in early 2008 and is working to help the campus implement its commitment to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, implement new sustainability programs across the campus, and track and report campus progress.

Prior to coming to Maryland, Heather worked for eight years as a facilitator at the Meridian Institute, working with diverse stakeholders on public policy issues including biofuels, chemicals management, food security, and sustainable forestry. Her prior work experience includes assignments in the public and private sectors focused on environmental education and sustainable agriculture, including service as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. She holds an MBA and a MS in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan.

Janet Larsen

Janet Larsen

Janet Larsen is the Director of Research at the Earth Policy Institute. She holds a degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University. She is a co-author of “The Earth Policy Reader” and has written on topics ranging from natural resources availability to population growth and climate change. Her research has been translated into various languages and featured in a number of print, on-line, and radio publications. Prior to the creation of Earth Policy Institute in 2001, Janet worked at Worldwatch Institute, providing research support for “State of the World” and contributing to “Vital Signs”. She has conducted ecology fieldwork on the Chilean coast and in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest and continues to enjoy spending time outdoors.

Marc Manara

Marc Manara

Marc Manara joined Acumen Fund in 2006 and is currently a Manager working on the Water and Agriculture portfolios. Beyond investments, he has also worked on Acumen Fund’s performance management and metrics efforts, and led a collaboration with engineers from Google to build a portfolio management software system known as Pulse. Prior to Acumen Fund, Marc came from the technology sector. He worked previously at Appian Corporation in the DC metro area, serving as a technical consultant on engagements with the World Bank, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Department of Homeland Security, and Archstone-Smith, among others. Marc holds a BA in computer science from Harvard University.

Seth Miller

Seth Miller

Mr. Miller is an Economic Development Specialist. He comes to the Smith School with more than five years experience implementing economic development programs in Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) and East Africa (southern Sudan & Uganda) working for international NGOs (Mercy Corps, CHF International & The International Rescue Committee). This experience in both transitional and post-conflict environments affords him a unique perspective regarding the challenges and successful strategies for program implementation. He has direct experience designing and implementing programs in the following technical areas: agribusiness, public-private partnerships, value-chain and sub-sector analyses, rural finance, business skills trainings and organizational capacity building. He has managed donor/client relations for multiple donors from the U.S. and E.U. (USAID, USDA, EC, DIPECHO and Swedish Embassy).

Mr. Miller also holds an MA degree from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), with a concentration in Economic Development. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan from 1997 – 1999.

Kimberly Norton

Kimberly Winn Norton

Kimberly Winn Norton joined PAI in May 2008 as the President's Office Coordinator. Kimberly graduated from James Madison University in 2004 where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Marketing. She has been in the DC area since graduation with her professional focus being on Homeland Security and Event Planning. She has previously worked at Equity International, the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Kimberly has done health-based volunteer trips in the Caribbean and South America. At PAI, Kimberly coordinates all internal and external activities and projects associated with the Executive Office. Also, she is involved in PAI's youth initiatives along with PAI's environmental programs.

Johanna Polsenberg

Johanna Polsenberg

Dr. Polsenberg has a unique combination of legislative, scientific and business expertise, with experience that ranges from advising emerging cleantech firms on government relations through working on energy issues in the U.S. House of Representatives to conducting field research on the role of Australasian mangrove estuaries as coastal buffer systems. In her current position as Vice President at the governmental relations’ firm Cassidy and Associates, she uses her on-the-ground scientific knowledge, combined with an inside-track understanding of Congress and training in business strategy and globalization, to gain a greater understanding of and develop analytical tools for clients with interests related to energy, the environment, natural resources, oceans, international conservation, agriculture and many other issues.

Dr. Polsenberg joined Cassidy & Associates after serving for almost four years as a Senior Legislative Aide to Representative Tom Udall of New Mexico. She also served as a Legislative Fellow for Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA). In between her stints on Capitol Hill, Dr. Polsenberg was the first Director of Government Relations and Assistant Director of the National Center for Caribbean Coral Reef Research at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Miami, Florida. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Dr. Polsenberg served in various scientific positions including: project leader for Operation Wallacea in Sulawesi, Indonesia; teaching assistant and lecturer on various ecological and marine science-related topics at Stanford University; biological observer onboard fishing boats in the Bering Sea; underwater photographer for a humpback whale protection project in the West Indies; and, collaborator on the development of a drug targeted against breast cancer.

Dr. Polsenberg received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and Ecosystem Ecology from Stanford University and her M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. She received her B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry with honors in Chemistry, cum laude, from the University of Vermont.

Adam Schwartz

Adam Schwartz

Adam Schwartz, 2007 University of Maryland Graduate, works for the Engaged University, a project of Maryland Cooperative Extension that incubates innovative educational programs that connect the UMD campus with the local community.  Adam is the Founder and President of the Green Guild Biodiesel Cooperative, a nonprofit social entrepreneurship venture that develops and disseminates environmentally sustainable Biodiesel fuel in the Washington DC metro area.  Adam is also the Founder of the Renaissance Youth Bike Shop, a bike-recycling shop that also provides learning opportunities in science and technology and teaches young people hands-on skills, acquiring healthy lifestyles and gaining entrepreneurship experiences. 

Rebecca Shah

Rebecca Samuel Shah is a fellow of the Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life. Formerly of the World Bank, where she was a demographer in the Human Development Network.  She conducts research on the impact of culture and religion on economic development in the global South, with particular focus on her native India.  She is on the advisory council of Five Talents International, a faith based MFI working in over  25 countries. She received both a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Economic history, and a Masters degree in Demography from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Aditi Shekar

Aditi Shekar

Aditi graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Business Administration and Psychology. Having lived and studied in six countries across the world, Aditi quickly realized that positive social change was a goal she wished to strive for in life. She started her career at Ashoka Fellow Charles Best’s organization DonorsChoose in sunny California as a Project Coordinator and moved into her second role as Teacher Engagement Manager. Most recently, Aditi worked at a public health consulting firm in Washington DC, The Manoff Group, as a Social Marketing Associate. Aditi has worked in Ashoka's Global Marketing department for the past year and is now moving into a new role as an institution builder.  

David Sklar

David Sklar

David Sklar has a multi-faceted background, with experience in resort, residential as well as commercial design and construction. Mr. Sklar’s work has been featured in numerous publications and has been honored with many design awards,. Recently David Sklar was appointed as a member of NEWSWEEK’s Global Environment Leadership Advisory Board, for his innovative eco- sensitive design solutions. Mr. Sklar holds a Professional Degree in Architecture from the University of Tennessee, he relocated to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and is also the successful Founder and CEO of DALU Design Group located in Savannah, GA. where Mr. Sklar continues to be a pioneer in the field of Eco-tecture and Development with the creation of cutting edge green projects such as Star Island Bahamas.

Rod Smith

Rod Smith

Rod Smith is CEO and founder of GreenSmith Energy Management Systems, a green energy company focused on distributed energy storage systems. DESS improves the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy deployment, e.g. solar and wind generation, as well as shifts peak electricity demand from peak to off-peak hours. Mr. Smith is a former Partner in the consulting division of Arthur Andersen where he served clients in a wide range of industries including energy. He holds a MS in Systems Science from the Thomas Watson School of Advanced Technology at SUNY Binghamton, and BA’s in Geography, History, and Biology. Rod also enjoys teaching university courses in environmental sciences, and also designed and conducted several industry professional education courses in systems thinking.

Preeti Wali

Preeti Wali

Preeti Wali, Communications Associate at the Grameen Foundation, currently assists the Social Performance Management Center with the roll-out of Social Performance communications initiatives. Prior to joining the Grameen Foundation she worked on Social Performance projects at Alternative Credit Technologies (ACT). Preeti developed an interest in microfinance after witnessing its successful application in South Asia – specifically, instances in which impoverished women were enabled to provide education for their children and earned greater social capital within their communities. Before ACT, Preeti worked for MSHC Partners, Inc., a Democratic political consulting firm and spent three years working on campaigns such as Wal-Mart Watch, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 Presidential campaign, and Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs, Economics, and Political Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Originally from Kashmir, India and raised in Syracuse, NY, Preeti speaks Hindi, Kashmiri, and French.

Mubuso Zamchiya

Mubuso Zamchiya

Mubuso is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of School Ventures, LLC, an education development company based in Alexandria, Virginia. School Ventures exists so that every child can grow up to live an abundant adult life. Among other innovations, School Ventures has produced the world’s first index to evaluate the attractiveness of education markets in Africa as destinations for private investment. The company is also spearheading efforts to enable affordable private schools in slum communities across the world to secure investment for school improvement. Prior to founding School Ventures, Mubuso worked for two years as an Investment Officer in the Special Operations and Infrastructure departments of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation in Washington DC. Mubuso also previously served as Director of Special Operations in the Corporate Finance and Treasury unit of AES Corporation, a global power company based in Arlington, Virginia. He began his working career as an Analyst in the Corporate Strategy unit of Barclays in London.  Mubuso is Founder of the BOOST Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that prepares youth for productive adult life through the principles of possibility-oriented living, entrepreneur intelligence and servant leadership. Mubuso has an LL.B and an LL.M in Commercial and International Law from Bristol University, England. He also read for an MPhil in Development Studies at Wadham College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. In 2008, he was recognized as an outstanding emerging social entrepreneur and was awarded a Fellowship with the social change organization, Echoing Green.

Niki Zoli

Niki Zoli

Niki Zoli is the Manager of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement for Marriott International, where she oversees the budget and giving priorities as well as help develop events and programming like "Hospitality Hot Shots" for non profit partners like the Girl Scouts. She also organized Marriott's first-ever Green Fair - with over 25 different groups represented and take part in Marriott's Executive-Level "Green Council" which oversees the greening of Marriott operations worldwide. Prior to Marriott she landed a job with Whole Foods Market handling community relations and marketing and fell in love with corporate social responsibility.  In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, biking, yoga, reading and spending time with her family and friends.